Debating Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula With Victor Cha and David Kang
04-18-2018 06:30pm

Debating Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula With Victor Cha and David Kang

After months spent debating missile tests and “bloody noses,” discussions about the Korean peninsula have mercifully—if unexpectedly—returned to diplomacy. President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un are now preparing for a historic summit.

This encounter is unprecedented. No U.S. president has ever met with the Supreme Leader of North Korea. And given the dramatic stakes at play and the limited time to prepare, there are legitimate questions about the potential risks and returns of this face-to-face introduction.

As diplomats on both sides of the table hustle to establish preliminaries for the Trump-Kim meeting, experts are torn over the correct approach. What might we expect to be negotiated? What’s off the table, entirely? And how can these talks alleviate—rather than aggravate—tensions?

Please join the Charles Koch Institute and moderator Greg Jaffe (The Washington Post) for what promises to be an instructive debate between Victor Cha and David Kang, two of this country’s most seasoned Korea experts.

Victor Cha holds the D.S. Song-KF Professorship in Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University. In 2009, he was also named as Senior Adviser for Asia and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He left the White House in 2007 after serving since 2004 as Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. At the White House, he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand, and Pacific Island nation affairs. Cha was also the Deputy Head of Delegation for the United States at the Six Party Talks in Beijing, and received two Outstanding Service commendations during his tenure at the NSC. He is the author of five books, including the award-winning Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle and The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a doctorate from Columbia University, and a master’s degree from Oxford University.

David C. Kang is Professor of International Relations and Business at the University of Southern California, with appointments in both the School of International Relations and the Marshall School of Business. He is director of both the USC Korean Studies Institute and the USC Center for International Studies. Kang’s latest book is American Grand Strategy and East Asian Security in the 21st Century. He has authored four other books and has published scholarly articles in journals such as International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and International Security. A regular consultant for U.S. government agencies and the military, Kang has also written opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and appears regularly in media such as CNN, PBC, the BBC, and NPR. A former Fulbright Scholar, Kang received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Stanford University and his doctorate from Berkeley.

Moderator Greg Jaffe is a reporter covering national security issues for The Washington Post, where he has been since March 2009. Previously, he covered the White House and the military for The Post. Before joining The Post, he worked at the Wall Street Journal and the Montgomery Advertiser.

Sign up for updates